Research commissioned by ClickSoftware Technologies has found that the number of mobile workers across the world will hit 1.3 billion by 2015, and companies are attempting to define corporate strategies that will enable them to keep up with this change in operations. Bring-your-own-device schemes have been touted as the significant factor in the increasing number of mobile workers, with thousands of them investing in tablets, electronic pens and digital pads to boost their productivity on the go.
It is said that thanks to the prevalence of mobile working, the traditional 9-5 job could meet its end. As long as there is an internet connection available, meetings can be held, reports filed and accounts managed from any location. This reduces the need to commute and frees up more time for workers to channel productively; indeed, three out of five workers now say they don’t need to be in an office environment to feel productive. Mobile workers can choose to work in the way that they feel the most productive, whether this in a home office, in a coffee shop or whilst travelling to and from meetings.
The restrictions and problems of the 9-5 workday are also laid bare with the rise of mobile workers, from the after-lunch lull in productivity to the possibility of being late to the workplace due to public transport issues. An employee might be in the middle of a particularly productive streak when they have to leave at 5pm to catch their train home, and with no access to files overnight, they find it harder to pick up where they left off. These issues are all completely negated with mobile working.
The revolution is, in large part, due to the technological advancements which have progressed rapidly in recent years. Cloud storage has enable companies to store their entire database in a remotely accessible portal, whilst tablets and smartphones allow people to keep track of their emails, compose documents and carry out research from anywhere. Devices such as electronic pens and digital pads make it simple to conduct meetings and have them instantly transcribed to upload to a central company intranet, whilst WiFi hotspots in many public places allow employees to be connected at all times. More devices are constantly in the pipeline that will help to streamline the process of working from home, and the rise of the mobile worker looks to be on a steep trajectory.